Obama: Perception of Racial Inequality in Justice has ‘Corrosive Effect’ VIDEO

Published On September 28, 2014 | By Marc Belisle |

In a speech delivered this morning to the Congressional Black Caucus, Obama laid out a vision for national unity and equality under the law reminiscent of his defining 2008 campaign.

In the speech, he lauded Eric Holder’s service to the country, discussed challenges abroad, including Ebola in Africa.  He touted his accomplishments, including a 26% drop in uninsured Americans since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

Issues of Justice in America were the centerpiece of his speech.

“Since I took office, the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate has gone down by about 10 percent.  That’s the first time they’ve declined at the same time in more than 40 years.  Fewer folks in jail.  Crime still going down.”

He addressed a central issue of the nation’s discourse since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson:

“Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement, guilty of walking while black, or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness.  We know that, statistically, in everything from enforcing drug policy to applying the death penalty to pulling people over, there are significant racial disparities.  That’s just the statistics.  One recent poll showed that the majority of Americans think the criminal justice system doesn’t treat people of all races equally.  Think about that.  That’s not just blacks, not just Latinos or Asians or Native Americans saying things may not be unfair.  That’s most Americans.

And that has a corrosive effect — not just on the black community; it has a corrosive effect on America.  It harms the communities that need law enforcement the most.  It makes folks who are victimized by crime and need strong policing reluctant to go to the police because they may not trust them.  And the worst part of it is it scars the hearts of our children.  It scars the hearts of the white kids who grow unnecessarily fearful of somebody who doesn’t look like them.  It stains the heart of black children who feel as if no matter what he does, he will always be under suspicion.  That is not the society we want.  It’s not the society that our children deserve.  Whether you’re black or white, you don’t want that for America.”

He concluded by urging the audience to get supporters to the polls and vote on November 4th.

Read the White House transcript here.

Marc Belisle
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Marc Belisle

Senior Writer at Reverb Press.
Marc Belisle is a writer, activist and teacher. He is a regular contributor to The Everlasting GOP Stoppers. He has an Master's degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies.

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Marc Belisle
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